With predictable questions asked of the three candidates for Portland’s city council at-large seat coming up on November 7th, the answers were likewise ho-hum producing no new insights to help Portland voters decide who to vote for – if they remain undecided.
The three candidates for 16 year incumbent Councilor Jill Duson’s seat are all Democrats. So, it’s a safe assumption that their answers would be similar and predictable. It would have been more helpful if at least some of the questions had been designed to elicit the differences among the candidates. Not to point out their similarities.
Less about “what musical instrument did you play, when was the last time you rode the Metro?” and more hard questions would have been helpful for the more than 120 who attended the Forum at Reiche School.
However, one disappointing and ironic answer came from the anti-renter Duson. Moderator Ian Jacob asked the three candidates if they supported a new proposal at city hall permitting employees to earn sick days for time worked. Brunelle, who is a web creator, and LaCasse, who works for a real estate developer, supported the proposal. Duson, who once worked for the state of Maine and probably had a benefit package including sick days, said she was “undecided” on the subject. The sick leave proposal was introduced by Mayor Ethan Strimling, with whom Duson has clashed repeatedly. She needs to be replaced!
Glaringly absent were any questions and discussion about the email scandal that erupted recently between Progressive Portland co-founder Steven Biel and Bree Lacasse. A scandal that forced Biel to step aside from his non-profit, at least temporarily, hopefully permanently. His wife, Emily Fidgor, recently was voted off a Democratic Committee for misuse of her position. LaCasse, who works for a real estate developer, should have been given an opportunity to define and defend her relationship with Biel; what is it and describe how his controversial fundraising methods have benefited her. Interestingly, Biel did not attend the forum at Reiche School. But, noteworthy, Biel did arrive at the School just as the forum ended at 8:00 pm.
A question submitted for the three candidates by his blogger was disregarded by the moderator: “What is your connection/relationship to Steven Biel?”
Jack O’Brien, author of the Fair Rent Portland, said that over 60% of Portlanders are renters. Renters get no subsidies as do landlords. He said that this proposed ordinance is temporary, to run for seven years. Brit Vitalius, tried to create issues that don’t exist. He painted landlords as poor folk just trying to make a retirement buck and by scaring renters into thinking this policy would work against them. Fear mongering is a poor strategy when it is seen for what it is.
Representatives from both sides of two referendums presented their positions in the first hour of the two-hour forum at Reiche School.
Please see previous post herein dated October 23, 2017 on the controversy that has somewhat discredited Bree LeCasse’s campaign.